Day 25: neverending toile

Once upon a time, there was a competition called Rae’s Spring Top Sewalong, where any sewing maiden could enter three beautiful tops in a quest for wonderful sewing prizes.  This girl had two in the bag well in time for the deadline, but three is a magical fairytale number, and so three it had to be.  She toiled away for a whole morning, forsaking Saturday Morning Kitchen, to produce a thing of such beauty that all the Sewalong judges would fall at its feet and bestow said prizes instantly.  But…

the top would not go right.  The fabrics which looked so fetching together in the planning stages now looked odd; the cut was too tight here and too big there.  The girl was glum.  Princess Karen offered kind words of wisdom, but there was no fairy godmother to rescue the top, and so it was cast into the Miserable Pile of Failed Projects.

Fortunately, the girl was not downcast for long, and bravely attempted a new challenge: Me Made June!  To begin with, all went well, and there was much wearing of Me Made items… but alas, as the month went on, the girl began running out of new things to wear.  Desperate for something different, she returned to the Miserable Pile, retrieved the top and frantically stitched and stitched…

Oh, so close!  As she tried it on, the girl realised the top would have been really cute, if she hadn’t rushed and decided to attach the collar piece to the bodice by eye, instead of measuring it properly.  Could she live with those strange puckery bits around the neckline? No. So the top remained a toile, and the girl had to wear a Pendrell to work.  Yet again.

But she was feeling plucky, and prompted by Refashion week over at the Sew Weekly, she gave it one last try.  Perhaps she could have unpicked the ruffled collar and reattached it, but instead she got ruthless and hacked the whole thing off.  She wanted simplicity and summer all rolled up in one – yes, of course, something like the Sorbetto top – so fortuitously similar from the bust darts down.  But having already made a Sorbetto top, could the pattern be adapted into something different…?  A little bit of drafting, measuring, and fairy dust, and by the end of the evening she had this:

YES!!!  Finally, the girl and the top had overcome their animosity.  The top fit, and made the girl feel pretty… it just got a bit creased after they’d skipped around in the sunlight all day. 

And so they lived happily ever after.

The end.

Day 15: new tops

Ugh, another week of server problems –  it’s been barring me from blogging, but I’ve faithfully carried on taking Me Made June photos!  I’m keeping up with the Flickr group (more or less), but here are my new June makes…

First, how fab is this fabric?

I know, it’s a children’s fabric… but I couldn’t resist it for another Pendrell top.  I was chatting to my Mum about this make, and the fact that I’d splashed out £6/metre on eBay for it… which seemed on the pricey side, until I realised that actually meant I’d got a whole new top for £12.  Isn’t it funny how sewing your own clothes puts you in a whole different cost/value mindset?

Worn 3rd, 7th and 15th June

Yes, I’ve worn it 3 times already… and it’s the only thing so far that someone has asked whether I’d made it!  Is that good or bad for 15 days of me-made stuff?

Next up, my version of the free Sorbetto pattern – thank you Colette Patterns!  I’m calling it my Lemon Sorbet top, and I think it’s the most summery thing I’ve ever made:

Worn 11th and 12th June

This is a beautifully easy pattern to put together – but, note to fellow long-bodied sewists, it came out on the short side.  I sewed a 12, but kept the length meant for a 16… and still ended up adding this slice of net curtain to get a length I was happy with.  I’ll cut it much longer next time… and I’m sure there will be a next time (new pattern obsession: check).

So we’re halfway through June – how’s it going, MMJ-ers?  On the one hand, I feel like I’m wading through this month without achieving anything or getting anywhere (though that’s mainly to do with work, work-related stress, and stress-related tiredness/sickness.  Bleugh.)  Finding a clean, me-made item everyday is therefore much more of a challenge at the moment than I’d anticipated.  On the other hand, I’m really enjoying wearing more skirts (Shock! I know!) and combining things I’ve made in new ways; plus it’s shown up some gaps in my wardrobe which I’m now sewing to fill – so it is worth it.  But, I am glad there are only 30 days in June.

Day 6: Happy swirly Monday!

Hello!  I’ve been cut off from my blog for the past few days… something reset something else somewhere on a server or something (I have no idea) and I couldn’t log in at all.  But hoorah, at last all is well (thanks Mr B) and here I am.

When I went to work this morning, I hadn’t yet heard the good news, but I’m still smiling….

… because I really love this skirt.  Everything should have big deep pockets like this.  I’m so glad MMJ forced me to wear it – I was just catching up on admin in the office, which usually automatically equals jeans.  But today?  I sort of skipped around the filing cabinets swirling my skirt, which made it more fun than the average Monday.  Must must MUST make another one.

I won’t blog outfits from days 2 to 5 here, because 1) you can see them in the Flickr group, and 2) I’ll probably end up wearing each of them again, as we’re not even a quarter of the way through June…

Day 1: I have a plan!

Thank you to everyone who commented on Monday’s panic post – I am always amazed when I throw a doubtful question out into the blogosphere and get such beautifully positive advice and encouragement in return.  So now I am a calm and focused MMJ-er… thanks to you, and The Plan:

  1. Nearly everyone pointed out that part of the challenge of Me-Made-June is that it forces us kicking and screaming encourages us to wear what we’ve made more often… and hey, maybe even enjoy it.  (Stevie, I’m glad I’m not the only one who makes dresses and doesn’t wear them.) So I’m planning to wear everything I’ve made so far at least once during the month – I’ll just have to find a good day for those dresses.
  2. At the same time, I’m clinging to my trouser comfort zone, which means that I’ve got to make a lot more tops.  I have my eye on this and this (both free patterns!  Astounding!)
  3. But… if I love trousers this much, I feel the responsibility to get on and make some.  Trousers are my sewing nemesis.  The words ‘crotch curve’ scare me senseless.  Nonetheless, by the end of the June I’m aiming to have made a pair (or at least some pajamas – thanks for the tip quietandsmall!)
  4. Finally, I need to work out the timer function on my camera.  Because today I had to wait til 7.30pm before Mr B got home to take this:


  • 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?