Updated: Jan 30
I am guilty of never making time for myself. I spend all my time looking after the boys, making keepsake quilts, and managing my fabric shop. There is a bit of eating and sleeping amongst that too. Sometimes it is easy to forget that I love sewing for me. I always have a huge to do list, it is hard to make sewing for myself a priority on that very long list. In January I caught Covid along with Alfie, it felt like the perfect time to book our first post Covid holiday. We went to Majorca in 2019 and we loved it. I wouldn't usually go back to the same place twice, there is so much of the world to see, however, we knew it was a short flight from a local airport and there is still a lot of the island to see. The airport on the other side was easy too. When travelling with a two year old, these are all very important things to consider!
A holiday is also the best excuse to make myself lots of new pretty things to wear. So, this is my Me Made Holiday 2022.
The first thing I decided to make was quite an easy decision. While we were there in 2019, I picked up a pink version of a fabric panel I had bought before from one of the markets. I had been saving it until I felt inspired so, when issue #102 of Love Sewing arrived with a 2-in-1 Gathered Dress pattern, I knew it was perfect.
The dress took a lot of planning, and I spent a long time on the kitchen floor trying to work out where the best place to put the pattern pieces would be, and to be 100% sure I could make it work before I dared cut into it. A couple of the layers are slightly narrower, the sleeves are shorter but besides that, I could easily squeeze it out of the fabric. I even had enough to make a couple of pockets which I added in the side seams of the first tier. Because what use is a dress without pockets? While we were in Spain, we were still required to wear masks indoors, so pockets were even more handy to keep my mask in.
The only other adaption I made to this dress, was to add some elastic to the waist band. There is elastic on the pattern of the short version but not the long one. The fabric is quite heavy, so it helped to add the extra support to the waist.
Since I am already writing about this pattern, I will move onto another adaption I made to it. Using the version A, I turned it into a top. I had a pair of shorts that I needed a matching top for and I had wanted to use this peony fabric since it arrived. White is always easy to match up, but it had my favourite shade of turquoise with some pink.
I wanted it to be a slight crop top anyway, so I made no adaptions to the length. I measured some elastic that was the same size as my waist and threaded it through the hem. Simple as that. In fact, so simple that when my husband said he had a shirt that he no longer wanted, I turned that into the same top! The only difference being that I sewed up where the buttons had been and used the shape of the top to cut the neckline. I made use of the sleeve hem and just unpicked a few inches to thread the elastic through. I made this a few days before we went away so I didn't take any pictures of the process. He has a few more that he no longer wants so, I will make it again and remember to take some process pictures to share.
I made the shorts before the top. The second fabric collection from Paula (aka The Crafty Lass) arrived just in time for me to make some shorts before we went away. Wild Dreams is a stunning collection, all the images are taken from Paula's original drawings and is printed onto quality organic cotton in collaboration with Craft Cotton Company. I have made these shorts several times before, I think they deserve to have bright and fun prints which these were perfect for. The pattern is Simplicity 1887. It took me a while to decide which fabric from the collection to go with but, I unsurprisingly settled for the turquoise, or Walters Copse. I wore them out on our day to Palma and the Aquarium.
You can see I also made them in a raccoon fabric and a tropical print that I no longer have in stock. I also made them in another fabulous collection from Beth Salt who is working with Craft Cotton Co. Her Enchanted Wings collection was her second of three collections, the bug fabric felt like a great pattern to make full on Sound of Music matching outfits for me and the boys. We had a lot of fun this day so I actually didn't get too many pictures of me, but I got plenty of the boys. George's shorts are self-drafted, he helped me make them. The dungaree's that Alfie is wearing are Simplicity 1169.
While I obviously enjoy sewing with new fabrics, I decided it was important to use something up from my stash. I had this jersey in a box for years, I don't even know when I picked it up. The pattern is quite busy, so a simple dress was all it needed. It also meant that it would be a super quick make and I managed it in an evening. I used McCall's M7531. If you have never sewn with jersey before, this is the perfect beginner's pattern. The only thing I would have done differently is cut the back piece on the fold and adjust the seam allowance accordingly. Purely because it would have shaved off even more time.
There is a traditional wooden train that runs from Palma to Sóller and the route is lined with lemon and orange trees, it smells delicious. A good tip if you don't want to make the full trip or if you have children that don't have a long attention span, is to get on at Bunyola. There is plenty of street parking and you just pay for your ticket at the station. We decided to drive straight to Sóller this time around and get the tram to the port which is pretty much the same as the train and with the two boys it was all the experience that they needed. Inspired from my last trip, I decided to make something lemon themed for this day out. I have had my eyes on the lemon fabric from Figo fabrics Squeeze collection for ages and knew I had to keep some back for myself. I am not normally a skirt person but sometimes the fabric talks to you, this fabric said, "I need to be a skirt". The colours are yellow and black, so I wanted to use the black to add some details.
I made the pattern up, it was really simple. I used 1.5metres of the fabric and first cut out some pockets. I used the pattern piece from the Simplicity shorts pattern above. With what was left I squared off the edge and cut the fabric along the fold line, so I had two pieces around 1.2 metres by 54cm. I made sure they were both the same height when I trimmed off the selvedge. I used mini pom pom trim in black on the trim of the pockets and the hem.
I then overlocked the raw edge of the top edge of the skirt, made a mark of the centre front and back and gathered it. I measured some extra wide elastic, the same width as my waist and sewed the short edges together. I then placed the gathered edge of the skirt on the bottom inside of the elastic, matching the centre font, back and sides to ensure an even gather. To allow it to stretch still, I sewed it in place with a zig zag stitch. Simple as that! I will have to make another in a different print to take some pictures to write a proper "how to".
To match up with the skirt I made a Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top. I am quite flat chested, so the gathers and puffy sleeves give one of the most flattering silhouettes and I adore this outfit!
Three days before we flew, I decided I could squeeze one more dress into my suitcase. It is another fabric I have had on my "to sew list" for ages and I couldn't not use this excuse to make something with it. It is a navy blue and orange floral viscose, and the reason I have been so desperate to show it off, is that it is made in the UK! The materials are from Europe so it is one of the lowest carbon footprint fabrics I can get my hands on. I used the Classic Wrap Dress pattern TC2107 that came in issue #100 of Love Sewing magazine. The pattern was quite simple to follow. I had to do a little unpicking when I sewed the neckline together wrong and the hook and eye in the wrong place. I sewed them both on the inside which seemed logical at the time until I tried to do it up. The pattern says to turn up the hem but I decided to use a rolled hem foot. It has added a slight wave, but I like the look it gives. It's a comfy fit and I wore it in the evening, but I think I could get away with this as a day time look without feeling too dressed up. The fabric is gorgeous and floaty, but it made it unsuitable for pockets, otherwise it is perfect. I am tempted to try this pattern again in a less floaty cotton fabric so I can see the comparison.
I wore me made clothes throughout our holiday, but they weren't all brand new. I took a few old favourites with me too. I wore my favourite trousers on the flight. The fabric is a polyester grey and white polka dot. The culottes pattern is McCalls M7131, I made the cropped version. They are super floaty and don't crease at all, so they were prefect for travelling in.
I took my simple 3-in-1 dress in a ditsy plum print. It is another British made viscose and one of my go to going out dresses. The pattern is TC2106 from issue #98 of Love Sewing magazine.
Each year when the Sewing Bee is on, I try and join in with a few of the challenges. in 2021 they had a button-down dress pattern challenge so I made myself a Tilly and the Buttons Seren dress. I love big bright patterns in unusual colours so I fell in love with this floral mango coloured 3 Wishes print when it arrived. I thought it would be perfect for this pattern. It isn't one of my greatest sews, I could have fitted it better around the top, I wish I had sewn the straps a bit closer together and I sewed the pockets too low. I am also still not entirely convinced on the length, I have been tempted to shorten it. However, none of that really matters because the fantastic print is all you really look at.
Back in 2009 we went to Kenya and during a stop off we bought a couple of hats, a wall hanging and this necklace. We were new and young and probably paid well over the odds, but I get so much wear out of this necklace. It is genuine turquoise gemstones, and it is my favourite colour. You may have noticed because it goes with so many of my outfits.
Along with dressmaking, I brought some of my other me made things on holiday. I took a bucket hat I made for Alfie in Craft Cotton denim and Thomas and Friends fabric with a free Waves ad Wild pattern.
I took my Snoopy beach bag of course! You can get the pattern here.
Back when George was a similar age I made him these shorts in a coupe of Craft Cotton prints, it is one my first ever blogs and the pattern is still available here. It was so cute seeing Alfie wear them and them getting another wear in the sun.
While on the plane and in Spain while you were inside, the face mask rules were still in place. I had a me made mask stashed away in every pocket. As inconvenient as it is, in a strange sort of way it was nice to get some more wear out of them before they (hopefully) become redundant.
Well, that is me and my Me Made Holiday. I hope you have enjoyed reading or just flicking through the images. I would love to hear from you in the comments if you are feeling inspired by any of my makes and, I am always happy to answer any questions.
I have really enjoyed the process and scheduling in time to sew for me. It reminds me why I love what I do and has made being surrounded by a room full of fabric less of a tease. From now on I am going to make sure I create myself at least one new or upcycled outfit a month to carry on the challenge.
Many of my makes included fabric from Craft Cotton Company. I did a Question and Answers session
with them which you can find here: