Tuesday, June 03, 2014

MMM2014 reflections

This is a self reflection post as a reminder to myself because you know, I forget things easily these days. It is going to be long, boring, and probably of no interest to anyone but myself :) and no pictures, because I have no time to do a collage or anything like that. Haha, doesn't that sound way better than saying I'm too lazy to do a collage? :)

MMM2014 was fun. I enjoyed little glimpses into everyone's wardrobes and life, reunited with old friends and found new sewing buddies, as I did last year. The MMM and sewing community is awesome! Thanks Zoe and all MMMers!

Now for the self centred me part of the reflections :) I learned many useful things, like how to take better selfies. I was given the best tip - stand farther away from the mirror, then crop. I also tried to stand in a more natural pose, although most days it was just my awkward stand up straight look. And one more thing, you absolutely have to wear heels for full length selfies, the higher the better :) they make you look taller and slimmer.

I was a few days short of completing MMM. We started renovations to my house and I did not feel in the mood for taking selfies of my outfits anymore. The good thing is that I was able to let it go and not fret about it. I need to give myself a good pat on the back for that.

In addition to clothes I had sewn, I also wore my handknits like I did last year. Many of my handknits are old, 2005 or earlier. They are still in surprisingly good condition, maybe because they are knit in sturdy cotton yarn. I feel it's time to start knitting for me again, there are newer styles to knit now.

During MMM, on many days I was wearing different clothes, but the outfit looked the same. I realised that it's because I have a sort of uniform look, which is a good thing because I feel comfortable in that look and I can pull the items together quite quickly in the morning. However, it also showed me that I could afford to venture outside of my uniform look and be more adventurous. 

I could try more colour in my wardrobe, which is now mostly neutrals, greys and blacks. I'm thinking of pastels and some bright colours. I used to think that as I grow older, I should wear dark colours. I have realised that I am mistaken about that. During MMM I had an ephipany - I should wear whatever makes me happy, growing older or not. Yay me! I am glad I got that age thing finally sorted out of the way. Because you know, for a long time, I was in limbo about what to wear and ended up being dowdy in a bid not to be mutton dressed as lamb.

Next I could afford to expand the type of clothes that I wear. Simple separates are still my thing, but I am in need of more interesting bottoms. I'm thinking of tapered cropped pants that end at the ankles because they seem to go well with the swingy and boxy tops that I like to wear. I have already found some navy cotton sateen for my first pair. Haha thus begins my new uniform look.

After seeing so many casual and breezy skirts on MMM, I am inspired to sew some relaxed linen or cotton skirts. The style of the skirts need some thinking through so that they will work with my tops. Or maybe I can sew new tops to go with the skirts. Think outside my box!

So here's the sewing list inspired by MMM2014:
  1. knit sweaters for me again, maybe Cheeky from Kim Hargreaves' Spirit collection?
  2. cropped ankle length pants, starting with one in navy cotton sateen
  3. relaxed linen or cotton skirts, a box pleated skirt or maybe Tessuti's new Libby A Line skirt?

Friday, May 23, 2014

May Me Lace Shrug

Pattern: MayMe Style of Sewing (Sewing Pochee Special), Pattern number 4
Size: One size only

This is the first pattern I have sewn from this May Me book. When I first saw the pattern in the book, I wasn’t impressed by it at all, but I was drawn to it after seeing Anna's version. My weather is perpetually sunny and I was thinking of making it in knit cotton jersey. Then I remembered my lace fabric leftover from a door curtain and refashioning my daughter’s dress with a lace heart. And guess what, the leftover was exactly enough. I had only teeny bits of scrap left after cutting. Whoohoo, I love it when I use up every inch of fabric.

I really like this lace shrug, but I have some difficulty wearing it with my clothes, nothing seems suitable. I think it needs to be paired with a simple light pastel dress. Alas, I hardly wear dresses and so for these pics, I wore it with my beige tunic to show you the lace shrug. But I think it will look much better worn with a floaty, creamy linen dress, which, sadly, I do not have. All the more excuse to sew one right?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

trial and error

This top is made of trial and error, and pattern hacking. I am not thrilled with the end result, though it's a passable wear, but most of all, it was a good learning experience. The fabric is viscose, not sure if you can see but it has a shiny embossed leopard spot print. This is the first time I'm sewing with viscose. It was more sturdy when I bought it, but after washing, it became so different, more fluid and drapey. I like the drape, but I'm not sure if this is going to be a long wearing make. The fabric seems to be getting furry already. By the way, the colour is a very pale pink, not white. 

I am not even going to talk about the pattern because it was hacked in so many amateurish ways. And it has too many flaws. The front neckline turned out too wide, and I had to sew a tiny pleat in the middle to get it to fit. But it was a good learning experience. One of these days, I will draft my own bodice block. Anyway, to stop myself from wasting more time fiddling with this hacked pattern any further, I am going to throw it away. When I made this, I had in mind a swingy trapeze like top, but with the soft drape of the viscose and the bias cut, it turned out different. I wore this half-heartedly and when my husband saw this, he said, "this looks really nice, when did you buy it?" Aww, it cheered me up so much. Sometimes all it takes to put a smie on someone's face is a kind word.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Keeping track

I am getting more forgetful these days. I have trouble remembering the things I want to sew. To help myself keep track, I am going to record things I would like to sew from my pattern books.

I would like to sew this as a top instead of a dress, using some stashed beige linen fabric. Since I have both pattern and fabric, this might be next on the cutting table.

I like this cardigan but the only available fabric I have is a brown knit jersey. Do you think it will work?

I want to sew these black cropped pants with the side slits but I don't have fabric for pants in my stash. Any advice as to the type of fabric that would be good for this?

I like the curved shoulder on this top, but  I'm not sure if I want to do a contrast peplum or not. Do you think it would look better in solid colour, small pattern or small florals? Or florals contrast with a solid? Should I do sedate grey or neutral or go girly pastel? 

I like the slit sleeves on this top and you can't see it, but there's a peter pan collar as well. I have some creamy white cotton that I could use for this. And let's ignore the fact that these models look younger than half my age and yet I want to sew these things they are wearing. Oh well, never mind, I'll just claim the right to be eccentric and wear what makes me happy :)

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Embroidered cotton shorts

Tomorrow is day 4 of MMM2014 and I'm going to wear my new shorts! Me made Michael Kors aran sweater, me made shorts. Snidel tote bag and furry pom pom on a suede string are borrowed from my daughter. Let's hope it won't be too warm for me to wear my sweater which is very "holey" and knit from a silk cotton blend yarn.

I have been hoarding this embroidered swiss cotton for a year. What do you call this colour? Tan or taupe? I wanted to sew something really special with it. I bought enough to sew a dress, but I don't wear dresses much. Then I thought maybe a tunic, but that's being too predictable, no?

Then I saw these shorts in a magazine and I thought that I would really like a pair of shorts in this embroidered cotton.

Gathering up my nerves to cut the fabric took a few days but once I cut it, the sewing went fast. I used my tried and tested elastic waist shorts pattern, which was whipped out in a jiffy because I left out the pockets and there was no need to hem the shorts. I managed to eke out this pair of shorts with half of my fabric, so I have enough left for a skirt or a tank top. This pretty fabric had embroidery on both selvegdes. Can't wait to wear my new shorts tomorrow. Have a good night everyone!

Edited to add: mirror selfie of the outfit. I love these shorts. Can a woman have too many shorts? I feel like sewing a dozen more. I want a pair in floral cotton, or make that a few pairs, one in a tiny floral, another in a mid size floral, a black gingham one, a few more in various shades of pastel cotton pique, twill or linen. Of course I do not have any such fabric in my stash, but that's a good reason to go hunting for them right? 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Me Made May 2014

It's the start of Me Made May 2014 and it's also May Day / Labour Day, a public holiday. Two me-mades to kick off MMM2014 : Two Colour Smock and Crochet Bag

I wasn't sure if I could get someone to take a photo for me, so the night before, I took a flatlay photo of what I was going to wear. One of my aims for MMM2014 is to give more thought to co-ordinating my me-mades with the rest of my wardrobe. Doing the flatlay the night before forces me to think about what to wear my me-made with, including accessories like my me-made bags and cardigans. I wear this smock very often, especially on warm days, because it is soft, comfy and breezy to wear. I was looking for a bag to go with my outfit and found this crochet bag hanging in my ironing room. Sadly, it is a neglected item. I cannot remember the last time I took it out to use. It is crocheted from very sturdy Butterfly cotton yarn and I had sewed a drawstring pouch to put inside so that my things will not fall out. So glad that this bag got an airing today, I will defintely use it more often on weekends.

This is me, after I came back from breakfast, marketing and a quick visit with my mum. Thanks to my dear son for taking this photo for me!

Have a Happy May Day everyone!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Burda, adjusted

I managed to fix the Burda top armhole. So it now looks more like a regular sleeveless armhole. I also ironed the gathers at the neckline to flatten them to minimise the peasant top look. I am done fiddling with this top. I doubt if I will ever sew another version of it, but I am glad that after all the adjustments, it is wearable.

After - regular sleeveless top

Before - peasant style top