31 May 2013

Made Me May: the end

Well folks, Made Me May has come to an end.  Maybe we should start celebrating J.Crew June (it's one of the few stores I still shop at on occasion)!

But I still have a few items more items to show off!

May 27: A Sewaholic Pendrell Blouse!  This was I think my first Pendrell (I've made 1.5 more of them since then), made from the same rayon fabric I used for my Colette Crepe from last week!
I really like the sleeves on this version, but you really need to use a drapey fabric like rayon or silk to get them to look right.  A crisp cotton will make those sleeves look like balloons!
I did have to add a smidgen of room in the bust to get it to fit well, but besides that, this pattern was pretty perfect from the package.  I much prefer sewing princess seams over darts, so this shirt is a total win for me.

May 28: Simplicity 2927 is a Project Runway pattern.  I made it up in some quilting cotton, mostly as a test garment. I really like the princess seams and the sleeves.  I really hate the facing for the keyhole neck thingly.
Pockets are always a good thing!  The fit was pretty good straight out of the envelope (I am a pretty standard size 12 for the all the big pattern companies.

May 29: A simple knit shirt that I made to replace an old favorite.  I used up some cotton jersey I had lying around for this test garment, and it turned out so well it got added to my permanent collection!
This shirt has raglan sleeves and is finished with 3" bands at the sleeves and hem.  I also used a band to finish the neckline.  This shirt went together in about 20 minutes.
With only 2 main pattern pieces (5 total if you include the bands), it really is a cinch!  And there are no sleeves to set!

May 30:  Same me-made pattern, different fabric.  Here I used up some old knits I had lying around to make a second version of my new favorite knit shirt.  The main pieces are in purple rib knit and the bands are from a matching jersey knit.
I think this one might even be able to be dressed up for work!  Feels like a T-shirt but looks like a sweater, yes?
Here is a picture of the original shirt (the yellow one on the left) with my newly made replacement shirts.  The original had set in sleeves - that was the only modification I made when I traced the pattern. I'm really glad I patterned it before throwing it away!

May 31:  Same purple knit fabrics, different garment.  I've been in stashbusting mode, and I have successfully gotten rid of quite a few knit fabrics this past week!  This dress was the last garment I could squeeze out of my purple rib knit fabric.  I used the jersey for the midsection.
This is the same self-drafted pattern I used before (with the same fabrics but in reverse), with one change.  I removed the gathers from the skirt and made it more fitted.
I also made this one a few inches longer - more appropriate for the office - if I decide that I can get away with it!  But the rib knit makes this dress SUPER comfy!
Well, I think that's the end of Made Me May!  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!  Got any exciting plans for June?


30 May 2013

Traveling with Liberty

I've been doing quite a bit of travel lately, and I don't think it will be letting up anytime soon.

So I have taken it into my hands to make the travel a bit more comfortable, stylish, and fun!
travel set

Using scraps of my favorite Liberty of London print, I made a new case for my earbuds, using this tutorial.  It's so cute, and it snaps right onto my carry-on bag strap for easy access!

travel set

I also made a matching sleep mask using the Liberty fabric and a contrasting cotton solid.
travel set
travel set
The sleep mask is my own pattern: it is lined in cotton batting and folds up for easy storage.  Much nicer and more comfortable than the nylon sleep masks that the airlines supply!
travel set

What do you do to make travel more comfortable, stylish, and/or fun?

29 May 2013

Made Me May: week 4

Made Me May is almost over, which is good because I am close to running out of everyday me-made clothes to show you.

May 20: My self-drafted peplum blouse from before, paired with a linen half-circle wrap skirt that I made based on a Burdastyle pattern.
This skirt is very comfy, and nice and cool for summer.  It closes with 2 metal D-rings on the side.

May 21: Another self-drafted blouse, made from a cotton shirting.
Gathered neckline and shirt-tail hem.  This was actually my wearable muslin for my pleated blouses.  The neckline was a bit too wide and the shoulders too tight, so I made those changes to the pattern before making the other blouses.  I also changed the gathers to pleats.

May 23: a wool knit dress made from Butterick 5672.
I wanted a dress that I could wear to work, but that would also be comfy and wrinkle resistant.
I was super nervous about following the pattern instructions for cutting this already stretchy material on the bias, but after making a muslin from jersey, I decided that it should work out okay.  And it did!mmm175
The pleats on the front are flattering, it has sleeves (very important to me), and it also has a side zip.  I moved the zip to the side without the pleats to make it easier to sew in.

May 24: A Colette Crepe dress!  I made this wrap dress in an orange printed rayon with a contrast cotton tie sash.
Another very comfortable and breezy clothing item for the summer.  mmm183
I love how the wrap on this dress is in the back, creating a very nice V-neck.  And pockets!

That's all for now!  I will have one more installment of Made Me May to share, so stay tuned!


24 May 2013

Weekender Backpack Tote

I am currently testing out my newest convertible bag - the weekender backpack tote!

It is large enough to hold everything you need for a weekend away - and it's a great carry-on bag.  I've been using it to carry my DSLR and computer, a couple clothing items and snack foods, and other travel essentials.
It is made of heavy duty cotton (both outside and inside) with tan leather details.
This bag can be expanded to tote form which makes it really easy to load and unload.  Inside, there is a pocket to hold my laptop, a zip pocket for jewelry and other small items, and pockets for chargers, pens, etc.
The side tabs also snap down for a more square bag that can fit under airplane seats.
bags20 bags18
The large front pocket has a turnlock clasp closure, and is useful for holding boarding passes and maps.  It also features a lovely Amy Butler print!
The straps are specially designed to be convertible on the fly.
It can be carried either as a regular tote bag...
...or as a backpack.
This was one of my more recent attempts at adding leather accents to a bag, and I really like how it turned out here.  The leather bottom adds durability, which is useful in a travel bag.
I have a few more trips planned in the coming months, and I plan to fully evaluate the function of this bag at that time.

23 May 2013

Another Saddlebag

I still have a bit of an obsession with saddlebags.

And my latest version has darts for shaping and is finished with bias binding.

I'm really happy with how this bag turned out, and how easy it is to carry around.  I started with my jewel-toned wallet clutch pattern and made a few adjustments to the bag body.
It is made in a upholstery-weight cotton with a navy ticking stripe and baby blue bias binding.
The strap is adjustable, and is made from 1" webbing with decorative trim sewn on top.
The inside is lined in a bright blue cotton broadcloth, and here you can see the magnetic snap closure.
The two darts on this bag give it nice shaping and ample room for a wallet, keys, phone, and camera.
The bias binding wraps around the entire outside of the bag, finishing all the seams and adding additional decorative detail.
And inside the bag, there is a zipper pocket for holding on to spare change or other small items.

Overall, a really fun design challenge for me.  I am really liking cross-body bags right now!  What type of bag do you prefer?  Anyone else have a slight saddlebag obsession?

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