Thursday, 28 May 2015

Me Made May 2015 Week 4

Nearly there with Me Made May 2015. 

It's repeat outfits now with the occasional find from the bottom of the drawer. 

This week I have realised that my three favourite items are my denim dress made with light weight Merchant and Mills denim, a striped jersey dress and my various versions of my MIY Collection Shrug. 

Friday, 22 May 2015

Round up of Me Made May weeks 2 and 3 #mmmay15

Wow, May is flying by! Only one week left of Me Made May. 

This is what I wore in week two

 and in week three

As part of my Me Made May Pledge here I said that I planned to make some underwear. So far I have managed to make one pair of knickers and purchase the bra pattern. I'm hoping to find some time in half term to get the bra started...

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Me Made May 2015 - Week 1

We're one week into May already and I haven't really started on the knickers and bra part of my Me Made May pledge. I better get my sew on.

I have been posting my outfits daily on instagram @craftyandcake but thought I'd do a little round up here too.

So this is what my first week of May looked like... what to wear next week, hmmm

Maybe something I get finished today as I'm sewing, sewing, sewing! What are you up to today?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Re-creating retro Sindy, Barbie and Tressy Doll Clothes

I've just found this post in my drafts that I started over a year ago... It just needed a photo of the jacket but I forgot to take one and then publish this post! I had my photo taken today for today's Me Made May 2015 outfit so here it is!

The original first post - 30 Jan 2014

Sindy (on the left) is mine from the early 1980's and Barbie (on the right) is from Toy Story 3 and belongs to Ruby. We have a difference in opinion over who is prettier, Ruby thinks Barbie and I think Sindy. We do agree on how lovely their new clothes are that came from Emmaus a couple of weeks ago. 

My friend and I sat on the floor and searched through a box of clothes selecting the ones I liked the best. In the end I cam home with some lovely retro Sindy and Barbie Outfits. Also in the box were some Tressy Doll Clothes. Tressy Dolls were made in the UK in the early 1960's and my Mum used to have one. 

When Ruby got home from school we tried all of the outfits on her dolls and they did a fashion show :) I felt rather envious of Sindy's shift dress and the grey Tressy dress. So armed with my new skills from my City and Guild's course at MIY Workshop and my Winifred Aldrich Pattern Cutting book I am going to re-create some of the outfits in my size. 

Now which one first?

The New Post - 6 May 2015

I decided to start with the Tressy Doll Suit. I don't have much need for a suit so I decided to use the suit as inspiration and make a spring jacket.

I started by drafting the basic 'flat' overgarment and 'flat' kimono blocks from Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear by Winifred Aldrich and adjusted block at the neckline and side seam.

I made a toile in some lovely! fabric remnants I had in the fabric stash and made some amendments to the neckline on the pattern. 

Then I went fabric shopping at Ditto Fabrics :) 
I don't think I could wear that much tartan so I chose a black and taupe speckled heavy cotton for the main coat. A cotton zebra print for the collar (that I will be able to remove and change if I don't like it) and a pale green lining.

And here it is, my finished jacket! 

Well worn and loved. I definitely need to make another one in a different colour.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Singer Chain Stitch Sewing Machine

This little Singer was a charity shop find from about 5 years ago. 

It's a Children's Chainstitch Sewing Machine, I have no idea how old it is, but it works!

It has been used occasionally by my little man between the ages of 4 and 7, mostly when I had my machine out. 

For the last couple of years it has sat in his wardrobe being eyed up by his sister.

This weekend he finally said she could have it!

So on Sunday when I was trying to finish a kimono cardigan (it still isn't finished!) she decided that she wanted to sew too. Out came the machine and scraps of Merchant and Mills denim (she is spoilt!).

There are now scraps of sewing, straight stitch on top and chain on the bottom. The chains don't always catch each other and it has a habit of undoing when you take it off the machine. But she had fun making "blankets for her toys". 

If you want to see the machine in action, check out the video on my instagram @dressmakerssocial

She now has her mind set on a dress for Bunnywunny and I'm off to draft a pattern for it. I don't think I will ever finish my kimono at this rate!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Me Made May 2015

I'm taking part in "Me Made May 2015" organised by So, Zo... What Do You Know? Check out her blog here.

This is my pledge...
I, Emma of and, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to continue to wear at least one me made item of clothing each day for the duration of May 2015. In addition I will stop putting off making and wearing the knickers pattern I have had for too long and may even attempt to start the craftsy bra making course I bought six months ago!

I wear at least one me made garment most days so I needed to add a challenging bit. 

I enrolled on this bra making course six months ago and I have two knickers patterns that I received as birthday gifts. I haven't got round to making any of them yet so my challenge is to make and wear them this May.

If you would like to join in too, all you have to do is click here

I'll me posting updates on my progress on instagram as @craftyandcake on twitter as @dressmakersbton and here Facebook using the #mmmay15

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

#sewsolidarity #whomademyclothes #fashrev

I’ll be honest, two years ago when I heard on the news that the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh had collapsed I thought “that’s sad” as I often do with disasters reported on the news that are so far away. It wasn’t until recently after reading this blogpost by English Girl at Home that I started thinking about who makes the clothes I buy, mostly, for my two children and occasionally for myself as the majority of items in my wardrobe are home sewn.

My kids have grown up wearing lots of H&M clothes, mostly because I like them, but also because they are within our budget. It's only since I started sewing my own clothes that I have come to appreciate the amount time, care and attention needed to produce a garment and that to sell a garment so cheaply must mean that the person who made it must get paid very little for the work they have done.

So, thanks to an Instagram post about #sewsolidarity, Traid’s challenge to home sewers to raise awareness for the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, my awareness of the topic has increased and my eyes have been opened reading about the conditions in which our clothes are made. One I found particulary interesting was this video by on suicide rates amongst cotton farmers. It would be easy to continue ignoring these stories and not think about where some high street clothes come from but I am glad that my eyes have been opened and I now think about “who made the clothes I buy for myself and my children?” and I have made a little pledge to myself, to be more mindful when shopping, to research where the clothes are made and continue to educate myself about who makes my clothes.

In memory of those that died in the Rana Plaza Collapse and to help raise awareness of the conditions in garment factories that produce clothes for the UK high street I am taking part in two awareness challenges.

First is Traid’s #sewsolidarity. Traid are asking home sewists to re-purpose a garment purchased from one of the shops who used the Rana Plaza factory to extend the garment’s life. I am re-fashioning two H&M garments from my son’s wardrobe that no-longer fit him, a plaid shirt and long sleeve T-shirt, into a dress for my daughter. If you would like to join in with the challenge, more details can be found here.

Here are the before and after pictures...

The second challenge is Fashion Revolution’s #whomademyclothes On Friday 24th April 2015. You take a selfie wearing an item of clothing inside out, post the photo on social media, tag the brand and ask the question #whomademyclothes.

There are lots of events on around the world, I’m hoping to pop along to my local one being hosted by Fashion Revolution Brighton at the MyHotel bar at 6pm on Friday April 24th. Details are on their Facebook page.

Have you ever thought about who make’s your clothes before? If not I'd check out Fashion Revolution Brighton and take a look at who makes your clothes. It’s interesting reading, eye opening, thought provoking and it certainly made me think about who make’s my clothes.
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