Me Made May 2016 – I’ve Signed Up, Have You?

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It’s that time of year again! How did it come around so quickly?! Time for all the sewing bloggers (and non-bloggers!) to prep their wardrobes ready for the wonderful challenge that is Me Made May 2016. Last year I found this a bit of a struggle because I had to keep washing and wearing the same few items and I got pretty bored of them by the end of the month. This year I have made a lot more items and have several tops, which was my main wardrobe hole last time, so hopefully it will be fairly easy. I do tend to wear me made clothes several times a week anyway.

So, here’s my pledge:

I, Bonnie from Summer Sun Bear, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear at least one item of me made clothing each day for the duration of May 2016, not including PJs or underwear.

I would love to get to the stage where I could wear entirely me mades, but I haven’t tackled trousers or cardigans yet – wardrobe hole identified and acknowledged.

Last year I entirely failed to document any of MMMay past the first week, so I’m not going to promise anything, but my plan is to instagram a photo every day and then possibly write a roll up post either weekly or at the end of the month. Will see how it goes! The main thing is that I wear the clothes and enjoy the experience. Come and join the instagram party – I’m @summersunbear :)

Have you signed up for Me Made May 2016? Are you looking forward to it? I know I am!

Cosy Margot Pyjamas

margot pyjamas

Hello hello, how are you? I’ve been feeling very full of energy and enthusiasm lately, so I’ve been busily sewing away. The return of sunlight always sees me come out of my grumpy hibernation and return to a hive of activity :)

I had this plan in the pipeline for a while, but it wasn’t until the Winter set in here in the UK that I finally got around to it. I had just helped my friend Emma make her very first garment from my copy of Tilly’s Margot pyjamas and the weather suddenly turned really cold. Anyone who knows me will tell you how highly I prioritise cosiness, so I immediately whipped out this gorgeous sweatshirt material, which has a lovely fleecy finish on the inside and put my own pjs together in a couple of days. In fact, I had to get my mum off the phone so I could finish them in time for bed 😉

Cosy Margot

The sweatshirt fabric I used is a jersey fabric, but has only a little stretch to it. I bought it in a shop in Brighton, in the north laines, not sure what it was called, but they had a really nice selection of drool-worthy fabric and I’ll definitely be heading back. I found it listed on Guthrie&Ghani as well (sadly out of stock at the moment).

Margot pyjamas are designed for lightweight woven fabrics, so I used one size down to account for the negative ease in the fabric. This made it the perfect cosy size for cold nights (and evenings, mornings, any other time I’m not going to leave the house and can get away with wearing them).

The fabric is quite heavy, which means that the legs at the bottom are quite weighty. If I were to make it again I would probably taper them in a little to reduce bulk. In fact, that would be an easy alteration to make if I find that this is too irritating.

Cosy Margot

Cosy Margot

One last alteration I made to the pattern was to use elastic instead of a drawstring. I would always prefer to have a bit of give to my pyjama waistbands. This was no more complicated than feeding elastic through the waistband rather than a ribbon and sewing the two ends together before closing up the channel. I have included the buttonholes for a drawstring if I want to add one for decoration later, though. I could imagine a woven cream ribbon looking quite nice.

Cosy Margot

Cosy Margot

All in all, margot pyjamas are a perfect pattern for beginners or for when you want a quick project that will have few fitting issues. I think it works really well with a jersey fabric as long as you go down a size, so this could certainly be an intro to sewing with knits if you’re feeling daunted by them.

This weekend is the Knitting and Stitching show in London, which I have tickets for! Hooray! is anyone else going? I am quite worried about the state my bank balance will be in by the time I go home, but I’m looking forward to being in a wonderland of crafts and crafters.

Red Roses Akita Blouse

akita blouse

I finally cracked and set up a subscription to Seamwork. There are few things more likely to make me get my wallet out than the phrase “secret pyjamas”, which was used to describe the latest trouser offering in this month’s edition, so I’m now a fully paid up member. If anyone hasn’t heard of it, it’s an online magazine by the fabulous Colette team. The articles are free and well worth a read and for $6 a month you also get 2 patterns with every edition – as a Brit it took me a while to work out that this was actually pretty amazing value. You can also buy the old patterns for $7 each if you don’t want to sign up!

Red Roses Akita

Apart from the aforementioned secret pyjamas (Moji), the lovely Akita blouse pattern is included in this month’s issue. It’s an extremely simple blouse with one pattern piece. You cut the material on the fold and end up with one piece of material and you basically just sew up bust darts, side seams and finish all the edges.

Red Roses Akita

According to Seamwork the pattern is supposed to take one hour. Obviously this doesn’t take into account printing and sticking the pattern pieces (which always takes me FOREVER), cutting out the fabric and making your own bias binding, which I ended up doing. However, it is extremely quick once you have all those things, so it’s a great pattern for a quick fix and now that I’ve got the pattern pieces I can imagine whipping up quite a few of these!

Red Roses Akita

Red Roses Akita

I absolutely love the silhouette of the blouse tucked into a skirt, especially with this drapey fabric. I bought the fabric in Masons and I believe it was labelled as viscose. It has a nice feel to it, similar to peach skin. One downside, which you can see in some of the pictures is that it does crease quite easily, but I don’t mind that much. Partly my fault for taking photos after wearing it to work all day and not ironing it when I got home 😉 I also really like the pattern, which reminds me of Charles Rennie Mackintosh stained glass.

Red Roses Akita

In the instructions you finish the sleeve hem and the slits at the bottom of the side seams before sewing the side seams. I personally think that this has made the join between hem and seam quite weak and I think next time I’ll do it the other way around.

Red Roses Akita

Red Roses Akita

The main problem I had with this pattern, which you can probably see in these photos (again, sorry about the creases…) is that it’s far too long on me. I guess I should have thought about this, but I’ve got used to using Tilly patterns where I don’t have to worry about it so much. It’s not helped by the fact that I did a bad job of cutting the back hem, so it’s a little shorter than the front either. I’m considering shortening the front by a couple of inches so that it looks a bit more balanced, but I think I’ll mostly wear this blouse tucked in, so it’s not a big deal. Next time I cut it out I’ll definitely shorten a bit though. I think I could even do with shortening the top half because the bust darts are quite low.

Red Roses Akita

This was the first time I ventured further than the yard behind our flat for some blog photos and I was really self-conscious about it! I don’t even know why, it just feels weird to be doing a photo shoot and for people to be walking past and watching. I guess this is something I can work on. Do you have blog photo fear too?! Special thanks go to Ben for getting such fab pictures despite an unruly model and fading light :)

Red Roses Akita