Me Made May 2015

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With my Moneta coming out wearable, I finally feel able to sign up for Me Made May! Here’s my pledge:

“I, Bonnie of Summer Sun Bear sign up as a participant of Me Made May ’15. I endeavour to wear one me-made item per day for the duration of May 2015.”

I’m looking forward to challenging myself and hoping that the holes in my wardrobe will spur me on to make some new stuff. I’ve listed the finished items I have below, but I also have a couple of things in the pipeline. Not all of them have been blogged yet, so you’ll have to guess what they look like 😉

Red Wool Skirt

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Corduroy Skirt

Tana Lawn Flower Skirt

Leaves Skirt

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Black Patterned Top

Black and Cream Swirl Skirt

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Coral Zig-Zag Moneta Dress

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Coral Zig-Zag Moneta and Other Adventures

moneta dress

IMG_8760So this weekend I had a proper sewing session with my good friend Becca. We went to the fabric shop and spent loads of money (if you’re in the Oxford area, you have to check out Masons – they have not one, but THREE shops!), then came back to mine and got out both sewing machines. Becca was the person who first taught me to use a sewing machine but she’s never made clothes before, so the teacher became the student and I helped her make a toile for her first dress.IMG_8736

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The pattern was 1800 by Simplicity and had lots of variations including 3 styles, 3 hip sizes, cup sizes from B to DD AND the usual sizes as well, which was quite scary to wade through! After a small amount of panicking and some guesswork, we cut out a toile in swedish tracing paper – my first experience with this new purchase and I’m suitably impressed, plus I got a discount courtesy of Tilly (thanks Tilly!). IMG_8735

Anyway, despite all the scary variations, the toile was a great fit! It only needed a small bit taking in at the top of the princess seams. Pretty good for a first attempt, don’t you think? I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks. And then borrowing the pattern 😉

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While Becca was sewing away at the toile, I was sewing up my very first Moneta! I’ve never made anything in knit fabric before, so I was very excited to be making this – jersey fabric is just so comfy to wear and this coral pattern is gorgeous. It was also my first try at a Colette pattern (lots of firsts this weekend) and I am now in love with their patterns! They have so many handy tips on their blog, which were invaluable, especially when it came to the clear elastic at the waistband and the hems. 
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Jersey fabric turned out not to be TOO scary to sew with, but I still had a few issues with the neckline stretching out even though I used the IDT system on my sewing machine. I’m hoping a twin needle will reduce this problem next time. The stretchy fabric was obviously a lot more forgiving in the fit department, which was a welcome change, although there was still a little bunching at the back, a common problem I have, so I’ll shorten the back a little next time. IMG_8757
IMG_8764All in all though, I’m super pleased with this dress! It’s a great cheery colour to welcome the summer. Can’t wait to buy more knit fabric so I can make another Moneta and banish the wrinkly necklines for good! I’m planning on making it with the three-quarter length sleeves next time.

One thing I do need to work on is getting better pictures of myself. It’s so hard to get yourself in focus and crop the picture right with a self timer! That will have to be my blog homework.

Red Wool Skirt

Red Wool Skirt

IMG_8648 I made this skirt about a month ago and it’s been getting heavy use ever since; the fabric is 100% wool and is incredibly soft and cuddly. I didn’t use a pattern, although I was inspired by the Burda wool skirt. The front is gathered, the back has darts and I put in some pockets with some feature fabric around the edge, which looks very cute. I do love my pockets!IMG_8677IMG_8652 It looks really nice with a top tucked in and some tights and it’s perfect to wear to work. I did make the waistband too big the first time and ended up needing to unpick the back and take it in, but I think it’s ok now! I’m trying to get some more everyday handmade clothes into my wardrobe, so this is a great addition. IMG_8649IMG_8651In other news, I mentioned in a previous post that I had signed up for a pattern cutting course. Well I had, but when I went to pay it had been cancelled due to low demand, which is very sad! This is a 5 week course at the local college for £75! Can’t believe no-one in Oxford knows a bargain when they see one, especially so soon after the Sewing Bee finished.

Anyway, I’m on the lookout for another one – I’m not going to give up that easily. There are some amazing ones at the London College of Fashion, which I’m quite tempted by. They’re pricey, but you get a whole week of 10am-5pm tuition, which would be quite a fun little holiday/project. Have you done any pattern cutting courses you’d recommend?