MMM’14 Weeks 3 & 4

Super late post, but I did fulfill my pledge for MeMadeMay’14, both in terms of wearing at least one make from an Indie pattern per week and sewing only with Indie patterns for the month. Now, to be fair/honest I sewed several duplicates of a few patterns. I need new summer dresses and making a couple from the same pattern in a weekend was the most efficient/effective way to achieve this with my available time and applicable Indie patterns.

I’ve combined weeks 3 & 4 because a) I’d be even later if I did a post for each and b) there was a lot of repeat items over these 2 weeks.  But, they were all new makes, so it’s still fun!  The weather’s been funny over the past couple of weeks – very up & down, one day sunny and hot, the next cold and rainy, or sunny but with a strong cool wind. So what ended up happening is that I’d wear a new make on a nice day, plan to wear an older Indie pattern make the next, but the weather wouldn’t co-operate, oh well.  New stuff is more fun to show anyway!

So here we go:

On Tuesday and Wednesday of week 3 I wore 2 modified Macarons I’d made the previous weekend, I then wore them again on Tuesday and Friday of week 4.

Here’s #1:

 

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The floral fabric is a vintage bedsheet from Value Village, the buttons are also vintage that I picked up at a vintage sale somewhere, sometime.

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I think the sheet was only a twin size, but that was still wide enough that two panels from selvedge to selvedge made for a very full skirt – which I love!

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There have been a fair few exposed zippers sewn this month. They’re just so quick and easy, they really helped me get through dresses in a jiff.

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There are pockets, of course.

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Full-skirted Macaron #2 (and I have plans for a 3rd!):

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I love it when one of my cardigans perfectly matches with a print – without trying.

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The matching accent fabric was also a real score. I’d bought the solid years ago as a remnant piece along with some other stuff (again – somewhere, sometime, I don’t remember). It’s a really lovely cotton sateen. I got the vintage cotton print at last year’s More than a Yard Sale fundraiser at the Textile Museum of Canada.  It was a total fluke that these two matched so well – must have been meant to be! Oh! And the buttons are more of the same as on the dress above. I had 6 of them and wasn’t too keen on using only 3 for the first dress. But I was delighted to find they would work for this one as well, so no awkward number of buttons were left over.

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Hmm, in person the shoes seem to match better than they do in these photos.

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The pockets in this one are placed more towards the front because the skirt is actually made of 3 selvedge to selvedge panels of the fabric. Being a vintage cotton it was only about 35″ wide. So there’s a front piece and two side/back pieces. I rather like having the pockets somewhat forward like this.

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This is the 2nd Elisalex dress I made. It was done the same weekend as the first one, but it had problems.  See, this cotton print has stretch to it. I didn’t have any lightweight stretch cotton I could use as a lining. But I wanted to both line the bodice and maintain the stretch factor for a little extra comfort.  My solution? cut the bodice lining (from light pink broadcloth) on the bias.

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I’m just so very clever, aren’t I? What a great idea-not-so-much. While the bias-cut lining did have give to it, it still wasn’t as stretchy as the fabric and resulted in weird pulling at the back neckline. It took me a while to figure out what was causing it.

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Once I did, I left the dress be for a while because I realized it meant re-doing a lot of the bodice lining seams and finishing. I needed some space from the dress before I fixed it, I took a week’s break.  I’m so glad I went back into it, though. It would have bugged me so much if I’d not fixed it and I wouldn’t have wanted to wear the dress. This would have been a shame because – this fabric! I love the print and colours of this fabric! I don’t know if this colouring totally suits my colouring, but I don’t care.

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Instead of regular piping to trim the waist and neckline I did sort of a flat piping (I’m sure there’s a term for this, anyone know?) out of a co-ordinating stretch cotton sateen. The colour isn’t a perfect match, but you don’t really notice with the dress fabric being so busy.

Oh, so I wore this on Thursday or Friday of week 3 and Wednesday of week 4

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I made this dress the last full weekend of May but wasn’t able to wear until the last day of May because it got chilly that last week.

I call this: The Mod-Maca-Thorn!

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Ooh, indeed, Carolyn.

This dress is a hack of the Macaron combined with the skirt pieces from Colette’s Hawthorn pattern to re-create this dress from Modcloth:

Puppies at Play Dress | Mod Retro Vintage Dresses | ModCloth.com

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Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. And guess what – it’s another vintage bedsheet from Value Village! I’ve had these sheets a few years now and am so happy to finally start using them (they take up a lot of space on the fabric shelves).

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I’m also very happy that the half circle/A-line skirt looks ok on me, I wasn’t completely sure it would, I’ve gotten so used to wearing gathered or box-pleated skirts. The skirt is modified from the pattern as well in that I cut the front on the fold at the centre front line.

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There are a couple of issues with it, however.  Firstly, the straps are too far out on the shoulders (hello brastraps!). Fixing this means altering the pattern because the straps are cut in one with the upper band rather than being separate pieces. rather like a yoke. I like having made it that way, it just needs a wee adjustment.

The second issue, also with the straps, is that they’re too long and want to fall off my shoulders. Not difficult to alter on the pattern, however, and the dress itself is still wearable. If we get really hot weather this summer I can see this being worn quite a bit as it’s very lightweight.

And I’ve already got fabric lined up for a second one – hopefully my pattern revisions will do the trick!

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This one is sort of a bonus piece. I haven’t actually worn it out yet and it wasn’t finished before the end of May. However, it was started before the end of the month and as (my 3rd) Cambie dress, is another Indie pattern make.

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This is one of my absolute favourite patterns, I want so many of these!!!

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Oh, and fun fact: apparently coral is the most universally flattering colour for clothing. It supposedly works for most if not all skin tones and colourings!  So this is my 2nd coral dress and I have one more piece of coral fabric (a stretch cotton pique) in the stash.  But I think I’ll leave it for another year.

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I’ve started a full-skirted Belladone dress, but sewing’s got sluggish lately and I took my machine in for a check-up this past week, so was without it for a few days.

Now what did I learn/realize by participating in MeMadeMay’14?

1. I need to make an effort to use my Indie patterns more often throughout the year, they’re pretty great! I would have like to add to the collection this month, but really wanted to get use out ones I already had. The way I figure it, the more iterations of a pattern I make, the less the pattern cost for each one.

2. I’m seriously crazy about full-skirted dresses, but I’m ok with it. I love the way they look and find them so, so comfortable as you’ve got no restrictions on the legs whatsoever. Much better than pants, in my opinion. Hey – speaking of pants, have I mentioned that I recently realized I haven’t worn a pair of pants (not including shorts here) in over a year? And I don’t miss ‘em!

3. I came to the conscious realization that my favourite thing to wear is dresses. They really are my preferred garment – fun to make, so easy to wear, no mixing & matching separates. So I’ve made the deliberate decision to make the rest of this year the “Year of the Dress”. I’ve decided that I would really like to have a core collection of dresses for each season, so that will be my sewing focus over the next half-year. I apologize in advance (ok, not really) if that means show & tell on the blog gets repetitive-looking. These dresses will follow a basic formula of fitted bodice + full(ish) skirts.  We’ll see how much variety I come up with within those parameters!

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12 thoughts on “MMM’14 Weeks 3 & 4

  1. So many fabulous dresses! Like you I’m a definite Dress Girl – my defence is that I’m really not at my best first thing in the morning, and anything which reduces the number of what-to-wear decisions required is all good!

    Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with.

  2. Oooh, I love the pink and white one in particular! The color is a great favorite of mine. Year of the dress sounds fun, too! I’ve been incorporating more dresses into my wardrobe as well (though I do enjoy my jeans still). :)! I look forward to seeing the variety of your dresses throughout the seasons. Summer is easy, but winter dresses seem to be trickier to me.

    Best,
    Quinn

    • Winter dresses certainly are trickier for some reason. Maybe because of the need for sleeves and more lining? Maybe also because summer colours and fabrics tend to be more fun. I dunno know. However, I have lots of wool pieces that will be great for winter dresses and I do love sewing with wool, so a concerted effort will hopefully yield some good results this year!

  3. Gorgeous dresses! I’ve also been trying to wear more dresses and skirts all winter long, since I find them so much more comfortable. How do you find they are when it gets really cold out, though? I’ll be moving somewhere colder in the fall, so I’m curious! I wear tights (my favourite ones are wool) all winter, but I don’t think they would be warm enough for weather that’s as cold as it will be where I’m going.

    • Well, when it gets really cold out I don’t go out much or spend as little time actually outside as I can manage. Probably not the answer you were looking for, but for next winter I’m thinking of also making myself leggings to wear with or instead of tights under my dresses and skirts. These can be made out of heavier jerseys than you’ll find for a lot of tights. I also highly recommend fleece-lined tights. Good luck with your move to a brisker climate!

  4. “I came to the conscious realization that my favourite thing to wear is dresses . . . fun to make, so easy to wear, the rest of this year the “Year of the Dress”.”

    Bravo!!! I concur wholeheartedly thus the birth of my blog http;//www.sewlyricallyvintage.wordpress.com.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,

    Lyric

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