• Get excited about joining my first Me-Made challenge: check
  • Pledge to wear one handmade or refashioned item everyday during June: check.
  • Join the Flickr group: check.
  • Add a Me-Made-June button to the sidebar: check.
  • Work out what I actually have to wear for 30 days…. ummm…

Yes, you would think I’d have worked this out before signing up for Me-Made-June ’11, but in fact I’ve only just started counting up how many handmade items I have in the wardrobe.  A quick trawl through the archive yielded these worrying conclusions:

Dresses: 4

Skirts: 2

Tops: 2

And one pair of shoes:

That’s it. Considering that I spend 95% of my time wearing trousers (with flat shoes), this is not a good state to be in at this point in May.  Somehow I’m sewing for some alternative life where I exclusively wear skirts.  Does anyone else have this kind of mismatch between their sewing projects and their day-to-day wardrobe?

I joined the Pendrell party!

Thankyou everyone who voted for me in the Spring Sewalong yesterday!  As promised, here is a post with a bit of substance after all that begging for votes!

I’m sure you’ve all seen hundreds of Pendrells by now.  So have I… and to be honest, my first impressions were pretty lukewarm.  But you wily sewists have slowly won me round, and I finally gave in and ordered when I saw Karen’s 3rd version.

The fabric is a mystery miracle polyester I bought a couple of summers ago.  It’s hard to see from here, but it’s a pattern of little spots in happy colours – pink, lime and aqua.  It was a total nightmare to sew: it’s light and drapey but strangely tough to sew through; it slithers and stretches all over the place even when it’s pinned; and it frays as soon as you look away.  But, once sewn into submission, it’s a revelation!  It dries incredibly quickly, and doesn’t need ironing (in fact, can’t be ironed – another reason I had to grit my teeth through the construction).  I’m going to be wearing this more or less constantly through Me Made June…

Spring top sewalong: first round!

So thanks for all your lovely comments about my bank holiday hearts top, which I wore on Saturday to the Sew Weekly UK meet up.  Pleased you all liked it… and so it seems did the judges on the Spring Top Sewalong hosted by Rae!! 

I’m ridiculously excited!  My top is up for voting tomorrow… if you like it, please head over to Made by Rae and vote for me!  Voting starts at 9am Eastern time, which I think is 2pm GMT in the UK.  Thanks a million  🙂

Sew Weekly UK meet

Isn’t it great that you can line 14 people up in the courtyard of the V&A for photos, and everyone who walks past assumes that they should be taking photos too?  I wonder what they thought we were all about?

One of the great things about the Sew Weekly is seeing how many different ways a bunch of creative people interpret a theme – check us out in our red white and blue!  This meet-up was of course the inspiration behind my bank holiday hearts top and roses skirt:

Great day.  Coffee and cake, followed by the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition – which drove me crazy because you can’t touch anything or take pictures.  I know there are good reasons for that, but it makes it hard to a) work out how he did stuff and b) remember any of it.   We checked out the gift shop, and examined the workmanship on their Horrocks dresses – for sale at £98 a pop!  Charlotte’s handmade one was far better (second from the left, below) and the pattern is free to download!

Then off to Goldhawk Road to pattern swap and fabric shop…

More on that once I get round to making something from my new stash, but as you can guess, I came home with a lighter purse and a heavier bag.  My one regret of the day was not having more time to chat to the Fabulous Fabric Fandago-ers as we all raced round the shops… just some quick hellos and hugs with the beautiful ladies I met last time in Walthamstow.  So now of course I’m off to read all about it on your blogs.

Experiments with bias binding

I have a bit of a thing for bias binding at the moment (I blame this vintage pattern for setting me off).  Yes, this is another top based on the Butterick 8477… but sadly it just doesn’t excite me as much as the last one.  Thinking about it now, I probably erred a little with the choice of fabric for the binding – perhaps it needed something brighter?  I am pleased with the way the cut-outs turned out though (I took a few photos as I went along, so let me know if you’d like to see a tutorial). 

And I really like how the back looks:

I think I’ll have to treat it as a toile, and try again with other fabrics.  However, I may still have to wear this one, because I’m signing up for Me-Made-June!

‘I, Amy of Diana & Me, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June ’11. I endeavour to wear one handmade or refashioned item each day for the duration of June 2011’

Just hoping I can get enough sewing done during May to keep me decently dressed!  Is anyone else joining in too?

Bank holiday hearts

OK, so this top was not made in honour of Friday’s wedding, but the extra bank holiday gave me lots of time to sew.  I did tune into the BBC from about 10am, and ended up watching all the way to the balcony kiss while eating leftover Easter eggs in my PJs. Yay!  I wasn’t overly bothered about the wedding beforehand, but now I’m strangely hooked.  I was straight out at 9am on Saturday to get a souvenir newspaper, which I later found Mr B folding in half:

Me: What are you doing  with that?!!

Mr B:  What, with the newspaper?

Me:  Yes, with my souvenir edition royal wedding newspaper!!

Mr B:  Aren’t they always folded?


After that I ordered some commemorative stamps off of eBay.  Oh dear.  On the plus side, feeling very British and spring-like naturally led on to… making a lemon meringue pudding.  Of course, you say, how completely logical.  It looks a bit squished, but that is one lush lump of meringue, lemon curd and whipped cream.  Nom nom nom.

Back to the sewing.: I was looking for some red/white/blue fabric for the Sew Weekly UK Meetup and rediscovered this cute hearts fabric, which has been sitting around in my stash for a couple of years at least.  So then I wanted a  pattern with minimum seams/darts so that the print wouldn’t get distorted, and ended up buying my very first vintage pattern!   I must admit, I’d never understood the appeal of vintage patterns – there seemed to be lots more work involved than the modern ones – but when this Butterick 8477 arrived, I got it.  Just the smell of the paper got my historical senses buzzing.  Sadly, I can’t find a year anywhere… I’m guessing it might have been printed on the torn off part of the flap?

I used view D, modified the neckline, bias-bound the edges, and wore it to the pub.  And then decided it looked a bit unfinished… undid all the bias-binding and added little cap sleeves.  Much better.

I’m so relieved I got the sides to match up – check it out!  Yes, there is a side seam between those two red hearts!

PS I just came across this great Spring Top Sewalong from Made by Rae – what a fab idea!