Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stashbusting in March and MMMay '13

So I had better tell you about my bit of March stash-busting, before May is here. I really didn't get done much, what with stepping up my studying and Easter holidays. But I'm well pleased with the garments I did make:

#1: Simplicity 2451 in green corduroy
I'm currently wondering how I managed not to take any more photos of that one, because it has been worn fairly often. It looks really nice both with bare legs and black tights, and it goes well with practically all of my tops. It's definitely a staple, and I love the colour so much! I even wore it with a black lace top and green heels to go out for drinks a couple of days ago.

Pattern: Simplicity 2451 in a size 16. Um yes. My size according to the sizing table is between 12 and 14, but I didn't want this to sit on my natural waist - nothing above the navel for me. I tried to go with my measurement at the point where I wanted it to sit  and measured the yoke to find my size. Even by going with zero ease, I still could easily have gone down a size, and will do so next time!
Fabric: not quite 1m of the green corduroy, leftover from the green Rooibos. Also some scraps from a rose-print IKEA bedsheet (leftover from my PJs) and a bit of blue lining fabric.
Notions: a 20cm invisible zipper, green bias tape for the hem
Time to complete: I'm incredibly bad at estimating, but it did take me a couple of sessions with looots of time in between. Maybe about 5h in total?
Alterations: Shortened by quite a bit, since I wanted it to sit on my hip instead of at the waist. Added a lining.
Techniques used: invisible zipper, hand stitched, turned up bias hem, topstitching on the pockets and I made a lining. I just used the regular pattern pieces and made tucks instead of pleats. I have to say, I totally hate working with lining fabric, though. I can never get it to lie on grain. Any tips?
Thoughts: Apart from the fact that I'd go down a size in the next make, and that I should probably topstitch the waist next time to keep the facing from peeking out, I love it to bits. It's not perfect, the waist seams don't line up perfectly, but I forsee several other versions of this pattern!
#2 stash-busting flowery jersey dress
March was almost over and I wanted more to show for the month than just one skirt, and stash-bust some jersey, so I took out the flowery jersey (from GirlCharlee) that I hadn't been quite sure what to do with for ages, paired it with some torquoise jersey and decided I definitely needed more summer dresses.
Pattern: This is still me me-made "Basic Jersey top/dress" pattern, the same that I've used for almost all of my jersey tops and dresses (at least the ones without raglan sleeves). It's been a while since I last used it for a dress, so I totally forgot to add a seam allowance under the bust. It sits a bit high now.
Fabric: About half of the yard of flowery cotton jersey from GirlCharlee (last year's buy) and almost 1m of torqoise cotton jersey from the Holland fabric market.
Notions: After using fusible knit stay tape on my Tiramisu, I fell in love with it and used it here on the shoulder and underbust seams, to give some stability.
Time to complete: Maybe a couple of hours. Neckline and sleeve binding and hemming seems to take the longest...
Alterations: I left off the sleeves this time.
Techniques: Nothing complicated. I don't have a serger, so I sew my knits with a stretch needle and a narrow zigzag, followed by a slightly wider zigzag near to the narrow one on the seam allowance, to give the seam some more stability. The neckline and armholes are bound with a crewneck finish (same as Tasia uses with the Renfrew, although I shorten the band to about 0.75 of the neckline/armhole length). The hem is just turned under and zigzagged.
Thoughts: It's a quick little dress, nothing special but it'll make a fine staple for summer. I love how comfy jersey dresses are, and I'm glad I thought of pairing the flower print with a solid fabric, since I can't imagine I would have worn anything made from just the flower fabric. I also got a couple more garments out of this fabric combination, to be revealed soon!

Now on to Me Made May 2013! I thought about what to pledge for quite a while, since I do wear me-made clothing quite a lot, and as Zoe said, it's about the challenge. So, since in the morning I tend to grab the next available dress that 's weather-appropriate, I want to make it my challenge to wear more separates. I have quite a few tops on my to-sew list for May, and maybe this'll help me actually get them done.

'I, Alessa of 'Farbenfreude' blog sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear a me-made outfit every day of May 2013. At least half of these outfits will consist of separates, and I will endeavour to also only wear me-made knickers and PJs.'

Since I know that I also tend to wear the same things every day, I will also try to wear as many of my me-made garments as I can during the month. Also, Gillian asked if I could maybe present you some German sewing words, and I'll try to do so. I thought I might do posts every 3-5 days and present a word in every post. I'll have to look most of these up, too, since most of my sewing vocab is English, but it'll be fun to learn together. :)

Last but not least: I know it's been a while, but Vicki Kate, who won fabric lot #2 in my fabric giveaway, hasn't left an email address or blog, her profile isn't public and she hasn't responded to my post asking the winners to contact me. So, Vicki Kate, if you're out there, please drop me a line with your address sometime during this week! Otherwise, I'll just draw lots among the other entrants.
So what's your challenge for Me Made May 2013?


  1. I love the green corduroy skirt. That is going to be a staple for both the summer and winter seasons. I have one question though - you said you always have a hard time getting the lining to stay on grain. What do you mean? Send me an email - mflanigan@urbn.com

  2. I really ;ole both of them, nice to see you sunning yourself

  3. Lovey summer dress, Alessa. And I'm very impressed that you lined that skirt. I made a muslin for it last month and wanted to make the real thing out of (coincidentally)a kelly green wool form the stash but got stumped trying to figure out how to draft a lining because of the pleats and the pockets. As for MMM, we'll be on the road again so I will live the challenge vicariously through my bloggy friends. Have fun!

  4. Lovely stashbusting! And German sewing words sound fun--I'm curious to see if any words come up that I vaguely remember from my 4 years of taking it in high school!

  5. I love the corduroy skirt, and the knit dress. The roses in the pocket of the skirt are a lovely detail.

    I'm so sorry about the give away, I was sure I'd emailed you. I did do it from my phone though and that was being a bit weird a while ago. It's still playing up with some blog comments too! If it's easier, my email is vickikatemakes(at)btinternet(dot)com My blogger profile is only for commenting (it makes it easier on my iPad as trying to comment with my wordpress account using a mobile device is impossible!), I should have a look at it and update it.

    Sorry again and thanks a million for the give away!

  6. Love both of your makes - the dress looks perfect for warm summer days. And I know what you mean about sewing lingo in your own language! Most of my patterns are in English or Swedish, and although Norwegian and Swedish are similar, a lot of the sewing terms differ from each other. So every time I go to a haberdashery in Oslo, I have the hardes time to explain what I need as I don´t know the Norwegian words for things like fold-over elastic and piping. :-)

  7. So many cute makes! I love that green corduroy on you :)

  8. Love your green corduroy skirt! And I'm ridiculously excited for MMM! We'll be on the road most of the month and I've packed a bunch of me-mades. It'll be fun to learn some German sewing words too.

  9. Very pretty! You and Debbie both made green corduroy skirts ... making me jealous! And the jersey dress looks like just the thing come summer. Glad to see you're participating in MMM :-). A separates challenge! Ooooohh ...

  10. Oh I like your skirt and dress. I just made a skirt in very similar shade of green cord and have found it so wearable. Love the summer dress too. I am wearing a tee made from your spotty fabric lots at the moment so a big thank you for sending it. I am intrigued to learn german sewing words. My aim for MM may is just to get through it with better photos than usual! xx