We are halfway through the year already. How has that happened? With 6 months down, I thought I would show you the new additions to my me made wardrobe so far this year. I am pretty sure I haven't bought any clothes this year, besides a Saree, but I will explain about that later. I am on a mission to make a me made wardrobe, buy second hand or repurpose as much as I can. I have talked through all my makes so far here on my YouTube channel, but I have typed up the details for those of you that prefer to have a written reference point for all the patterns and prints that I mention.
I always like to sew for an occasion or just anything fun that we do. At the start of the year, we went to Alton Towers, and I made a top in The Crafty Lass's Sea in Colour collection. The green seaweed seemed like the perfect fabric for a trip to the aquarium. I have worn it a lot since I created it and it inspired me to make some alterations to the pattern and recreate it. The pattern is McCall’s M8256.
A trip to Disneyland Paris was the next occasion to sew for and I used this same McCall’s pattern. Instead of leaving it baggy and tucked in, I lengthened it and did the whole bottom shirred. I shortened the sleeves and shirred them too. I used the purple seahorses from the same Sea in Colour collection. Along with some green silk trousers I picked up in the TK Max sale (I lied, I think this is the only item of clothing I have bought), it was the perfect Ariel inspired top. With the offcuts I recently made a bag for a little girl’s 7th birthday party. I hope she liked the Little Mermaid inspired bag.
Staying with Disney for a little longer. I wanted to show you the skirt I made. For the day we spent in the Marvel area, I made a Spiderman skirt and I felt like the coolest Mum in the place. I self-drafted the pattern, and it was a simple 75cm of fabric, gathered around the top and then zig zagged onto a wide black elastic. It is the second time I have made it for myself, and it won't be the last. I paired it with a black Agnes top from Tilly and the Buttons. The synched in waist and volume around the shoulders is really flattering.
At the start of the year, I was contacted by The Craft Cotton Company and asked if I could sew up the new Vintage Simplicity fabric for their stand at the CHSI show that is on every February. I obviously jumped at the chance. I was a little cheeky and asked if I could make two outfits. I was attending the show anyway so I could be a walking model for their fabric too. They said yes! I made a Tilly and the Buttons (TAB) Marnie dress for the stand because it was so full of fun details and techniques. The fabric is a gorgeous pale green with off white florals and hidden vintage scissors. I do love the Marnie dress; it is a real show off pattern, but I have to be having a really confident day to wear it. It feels quite full on, and I had to make a tie for my waist, or it wasn't the most flattering style. I need to have a think about toning it down to suit me more.
I made the TAB Lotta dress in the off-white vintage sewing machine fabric and added some fun ribbon detail to the top of the pockets. I have plans to make the Lotta dress again for the in-between weather we get in Autumn and Spring because I love the sleeves and being able to wear it with tights. The paler colours are more of a later in the year colour for me when I have managed to gain a little colour to my usually very pale skin.
I have already mentioned The Crafty Lass's Sea in Colour twice, but I made a third outfit from the collection, it is rare that I am so inspired by just one collection! I love a fun pair of shorts. I love a plain white t-shirt and loud pair of shorts. I knew I had to have some shorts in the fish fabric ready for our trip to the Isle of Wight, or any seaside holiday in the future. It was the first time I have used the Paper Bag shorts pattern from my British Sewing Bee book and it won't be my last. The book comes with all the patterns from the show, and I have had my money’s worth out of it already.
The last three makes I have to share with you are all from the same pattern with slight changes each time. It is another Tilly and the Buttons pattern, what can I say, I am a big fan of their patterns! This time it is Mabel. It feels like it has some of the drama of the Marnie dress, but the shirring is more flattering for my shape. The first Mabel I made in a cross stitch patterned fabric from Lewis and Irene. I made it below the knee and full sleeve so I could get use of it all year round, with tights in the winter. I found with the longer skirt it helped to add an elastic waistband to hold the weight of the fabric, especially when I had anything in my pockets.
I loved the pattern so much that I decided to make it for the biggest occasion of the year, my brother's wedding. He is marrying into an Indian family so it will be a big Hindu wedding over a few days. I have outfits for the Mehndi (where you get your henna done) and for the main Hindu wedding. I needed an outfit for the civil ceremony which is the English part. Last year the Craft Cotton Company brought out the organic collection Indian Summer. It was inspired by the Indian textile’s exhibition at the Natural history museum and there was a print in my favourite colour named Love Birds (you may have seen my Indian Summer Quilt in this collection). Everything about it was perfect. I knew what fabric I wanted to use as soon as it arrived, it has just been the pattern that I have been waiting for inspiration on. After enjoying making Mabel, I thought it could work for the wedding with an extra frill and shorter sleeves. I added a few extra rows of shirring on the waist too. I can't wait to wear it!
I find it is often easier and time saving to make more than one dress at the same time. I do all the sewing, shirring, and ironing in batches and at the end I have two for the price of one! I made the Mabel again in a fun pink Hummingbird fabric from Lewis and Irene. I tried to see if I could get away with only using 2 metres, I sort of got away with it, but it felt too short. I used some plain pink fabric from my new organic solids to create a frill along the bottom and lengthen it a little. I think it made it extra girly; it might have to be my Wednesday outfit when the sun is out. I will be wearing it to the new Barbie film for sure.
Along with making all these new outfits I have made plenty of repairs this year too. I am making it a mission to not buy any new clothes unless it is things like jeans, even then I will try and go second-hand first. I have transformed holey trousers into shorts about half dozen times so far this year. Most of what Alfie wears, was George’s and most of what George wore was already preloved so they don’t owe us anything. Both boys have little waists so when the knees go or they get too short, the waist is usually still ok. I have my eye on my husbands’ unworn shirts so watch this space for some upcycled projects in the second half of the year. I may need a new item or two for our Isle of Wight trip, and a Christmas outfit for an exciting trip we have planned. Besides that I have no major sewing plans but you never know, some irresistible fabric could arrive and change all that.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my 2023 sewing journal so far. I work that out as an outfit every 3 weeks. Is that too much? How does your me made wardrobe compare? I would love to hear from you.