A totally inappropriate skirt…

I didn’t intend to make another skirt. I certainly didn’t intend to buy more fabric. But I was waiting in-line to get some fabric for a sewing class I’ve just started and something was calling…
Can you see it?There on the middle shelf. The white one… can you hear it?

I tried to ignore it. I really really did. I didn’t need another skirt (for what else could it be?) I could get it another time. “But I’m on sale” it whispered.

Nope you’re cotton voile. You’re far to thin for a skirt. “I’d just need lining…” it coerced. 

For goodness sake its WINTER! “But look how pretty I am. Just think of how I’d swish and twirl…”

Needless to say my will was too weak and said fabric came home with me! And went straight into the wash and ironed and ready for cutting that night.

I knew this had to be a swishy skirt – after all it had told me it was. I didn’t want panels as I didn’t want to break up the already busy print – and I knew there was no way I was going to pattern match this sucker.

So I headed to the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. Which informed me that the fabric was too narrow for a fill circle skirt. And a half circle skirt. And for a quarter circle skirt. Hmmm….

What followed was a long period of angst trying to work out how to get this fabric to do what I wanted it to. I cursed my waist dimensions for being too long. I cursed stupid patterns for being dumb. I cursed circles for being too round. Then I realised the cursing wouldn’t change a thing.

nothing like my finished productI searched my patterns for one that would give me the swish I wanted. In the end I saw this one in Gertie’s latest book and thought “hmmm that would probably look different in a lighter fabric”. Then I realised it was a half circle skirt. And that the dimensions matched the fabric I had… we were on like donkey kong kids!

I don’t know why this pattern fit when the other circle skirt patterns didn’t. Tbh it wasn’t quite wide enough even for this pattern. I ended up missing the very point of the circle on either side and just fudging it when I sewed it up. roll that hem...

Once I got it cut out though this baby went like a dream. Easy to sew up. Facings matched (not a fan of facings me, but thems the breaks). I left it to hang for a couple of days but there wasn’t too much drop in the hem. I even managed to do rolled hem…

So, now I have a gorgeous skirt, in a see through cotton voile. In winter. Ah well! Add a jacket and a slip and we’re in business.

We managed to get out today, on a stunning winter day and get some shots – it was sunny, windy, and chilly but after the rain and storms we’ve had the last week it was glorious!

Here she is, in all her glory

Here she is, in all her glory

See... swishy-ness

See… swishy-ness


checking out the fabric – yep its still calling…


the print in its glory!

Despite loving this fabric, and the feel, and so many things about it, when I first put it on I was underwhelmed. I’m one for a-line and closer skirts and I wasn’t sure the looser, draping worked for me – especially round the hips. However when I tried it on again after hemming I was ok with it; sometimes I think a new style sometimes needs a second consideration.

I think this one will get a bit of wear. With a jacket other than my denim one it will carry me over for work. All in all a win methinks.

IMG_5151 IMG_5137 IMG_5186

Me-Made-May – Wrap up

hello lovelies,

Here I am, a week late, but my laptop is still in the shop and it turns out that even if I have a perfectly suitable substitute, I miss it heaps. It was only meant to be two weeks but turns out there was a problem with the cooling fan as well so it’ll take longer. (As a side note, a problem with the cooling fan could explain why my laptop often made a sound like a plane taking off!).

So we’re all done for my first time for Me-Made-May. Here’s the last of the photos then some thoughts below:

Day 25 – Monday

Work day… my unblogged leftover red fabric Mabel skirt


Day 26 – Tuesday (Warning faces get a bit silly from here. There were sillier ones I deleted!)

Striped maxi skirt for work


Day 27 – Wednesday

Brand new Delphine skirt – love this colour!


Day 28 – Thursday

Off to see another show. Wearing my watson jacket


Day 29 – Friday

Work day. Today I did wear Me-Made, but I looked at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and hated my outfit so much that I didn’t take a pic. Said Me-Made is now back in the sewing stash to be remade into something pretty. Or a muslin.

Day 30 – Saturday!

Woo hoo! Saturday. Hudson pants for housework. Boo housework.


Day 31 – Sunday

So apparently I failed getting a pic cause I can’t find one. Weird. But I can assure you I wore something Me-Made. Something.


  • so wearing Me Made wasn’t that hard. Most days it was pretty easy.
  • taking photos daily sucks, but is interesting to go back and look at them and see if you can see a theme.
  • my theme, both in sewing and wearing is simple – I’ve lots of skirts, but none of them are very complicated. Several of them are literally two seams, elastic and a hem. I’ve stuck to mainly simple stuff this year so far. I’m unlikely to change that but should aim to include challenging (though I am making three bridesmaids dresses for three very different bodies so that should challenge!)
  • this has been great to be a part of. There were only 2 items in my wardrobe I didn’t wear – one cause its too fancy, the other cause it needs ironing and I hate ironing. One item was hideous and shall not be worn again. Thats a pretty good effort I think!

Hope June hasn’t come too much of a shock for you all (halfway through the year already and winter has come with a bang here, though its pretty today). Have a good un…

Me Made May – Update 2

hey world

So I missed last weeks progress post… I had a good reason… my laptop is in the shop (luckily Mr T works in IT and has a spare… or two…) And Mr T and I threw a party last weekend for our engagement… yep we’re engaged! There will be lots of wedding related makes in the lead up to the big date next March I assure you, so I’ll keep it light on wedding words for now!

There are a couple of missing photos… sorry… and many doubles ups in this post but here you go….

Day 9 – Sunday

Wearing my Hudson pants while starting the Groom’s suit shopping… very early… like months early… (spoiler alert.. we’re still looking!)

IMG_20150509_134528 (2)Day 10 – Monday

Monday was cold… though I look prepared for work I have sneakily outfitted myself in… polyprop leggings, boots, a wool skirt and a wool top. I made the top and the skirt. But I’ve blogged neither.

IMG_20150511_083940[1]Day 11- Tuesday

My BHL Victoria Blazer… this was made just before I stopped regularly blogging and never made it to the blog. I wear it a fair bit though….


Day 12 – Wednesday

Work again… My lace knit skirt… which I love and will be blogged here as soon as I get some good photos of it I promise!


Day 13, 14 and 15 no photos…

but I did wear me made, I promise… and its all clothes worn elsewhere this post…

Day 16 – Sunday

The day after The Party. Not hungover, but def tired. Spent the day at the bridal expo with my awesome Matron of Honor who was in from out of town and then the museum (Te Papa) with some friends who were flying home that afternoon. Wore my wool Seamwork Oslo.


Day 18 – Monday

Work day. Purple knit skirt. This one was a muslin for the to-be-blogged red lace skirt pattern. Worked out well me thinks. (The black wool above is the same pattern!)


Day  19 – Tuesday

My Watson jacket. Love love. Though I fear its a wee bit too big these days. Sad panda. That must be the reason for my sad face. That or the fact I was off to work.


Day 20 – Wednesday… no photo. Sigh.

Day 21 – Thursday

Off to see a show. Wearing my Papercut Rigel bomber


Day 22 – Friday.

This was a fail day. I had casual Friday at work but a meeting at lunchtime that casual Friday wouldn’t work for, then went to the gym after work. So three outfits went to work with me and nothing was home made!!!

Day 23 – Saturday

Action shot. Played chauffeur for my brother and got a shot of my original orange skirt


Day 24 – Sunday (today! phew)

My burdastyle red sweatshirt covered me for brunching, gardening and napping!


And we are up to date. Hope you’re having a great month xx

Me-Made-May update 1

So the month started pretty well really – Here we are day 8 of Me-Made-May and I’ve got photos for every day! Unfortunately none of them involve exciting or creative photography! I’ll try harder next week…

Day 1 – Friday

Casual Friday at the office. Wearing my first blogged item my Orange A-line skirtDay 1

Day 2 – Saturday

Off to High tea with the girls. Wearing a (as yet unblogged) green burdastyle singlet

Day 2

Day 3 – Sunday

Spent the day racing around doing “stuff” and preparing Sunday dinner for family. Late night photo in my pink Sol Hoodie

Day 3

Day 4 – Monday

Home sick with the dreaded lurgy… no way I was being photographed today so you get my unblogged robot pj’s instead!

  Day 4

 Day 5 – Tuesday

Another day home sick, this time I put on my bright renfrew muslin to try and cheer myself up for a trip to the pharmacy. (yes this one is unblogged too).

Day 5

Day 6 – Wednesday

Back to work in my blue Muse Natalie dressDay 6

Day 7 – Thursday

TERRIBLE weather so I snuggled up in my Seamwork Oslo – another muslin that turned out ok. It’s 100% wool and I still wasn’t feeling too great so comfort above elegance it was.

Day 7

Day 8 – Friday

Back in my pink Sol Hoodie. Roll on the weekend!Day 8So, we made it through week one. What did I learn?

  • wearing me made clothes every day isn’t too hard!
  • I need to clean my mirror
  • I also need to clean my room… oops!

Hope you lovelies are having a great month! Catch you next week! xxxx

My pledge…

right... I'm doing this!

‘I, Mel of Thanks! I made this myself sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2015.’

Ok folks…. Here we go. I’ve been a part of this online sewing community for a couple of years now and Me-Made-May has been something I’ve always wanted to be part of.

For those of you who’ve not come across this before, Zoe from So Zo, runs this annually and the challenge is to actually  wear the garments you’ve slaved over and get to share them with others. Many of us find its really easy to make something and then not find a chance to wear it and just leave it in the closet… Not this month baby!!

Each person can choose what they want to pledge – some choose to only wear a garment once in the month, other ones I’ve seen are to wear more self-made dresses and to ONLY wear self-made all month – eek!

I haven’t done this previously as I always figured I needed to have more actual me-made clothes in my wardrobe. I still don’t think I have enough for a whole month, but am really keen to do it this year, so I I’ll either have to get really productive at my machine (not that likely as I’m just starting a quilt) or to show you lovelies  many double ups.

I figure May will highlight gaps in my wardrobe and what I don’t wear and hopefully give me some guidance on what I should prioritise for future makes. (Ooh those wardrobe architect posts are making me drool. How I wish I had an actual “personal style” to focus on. But I’m too eclectic – or too casual – to have any kind of specific style.)

One of the key aspects  or Me-Made-May are the regular photos  people take of what they are wearing. I’m planning to photograph daily and add them to my blog as a round up weekly – we’ll see how this goes. However they’re not going to be exciting photos as Mr T is gone by the time I leave the house in the mornings and its dark when I get home now. They’ll be hall way photos I’m afraid. But its all about the garments huh?

What about you folks? Are you taking part this year? Any concerns? At the very least May is a time to see and droll over what everyone else is making – not that I need any more inspiration… my to-make list is already sooo long… Sooo long…

so much to make....

Some mail… exciting mail…

you guys today I came home to a pretty exciting envelope… wanna see it?

ok, its the back of the envelope but you get the idea....

ok, its the back of the envelope but you get the idea….

Its not just the fact its mail that’s exciting – though mail when its not bills is exciting. Its not just because its pattern mail… its where this mail comes from!

The organisers of Rigel Bomber January each got to pick their favourite bomber jacket and guess what… Kat from Modern Vintage Cupcakes choose mine!!!!!

yep this one...

yep this one…

There may have been a bit of squealing when I found out. Even if it was quiet and subdued squealing as I was in the office. I was pretty excited! And kinda proud.

For being picked I got to choose a free Papercut pattern and I knew exactly the one I wanted. I saw a jacket a woman was wearing in town the other day and I had to have it, and the Bellatrix pattern was perfect. So this blazer will soon (promise!) be made in this, awesome, bright orange cotton (sorry Mr T, a bit bright for you I know!).

pretty prettywon't lost me in a show storm...

 A huge and grateful thanks to Kat for picking me! Shucks! Check out the round up posts for the sew-along. Kat, Mel and Sonja each have a round up post – there’s a whole heap of inspiration there…

Sparkly Rigel Bomber

I wasn’t going to get involved in this sew-along. Ginger Makes, along with Mel at The Curious Kiwi and Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes decided that the Papercut Rigel Bomber was something they needed to make and did anyone want to make it along with them? and so RigelBomberJanuary was born.

I figured I am currently mid-rehearsal (again) and don’t need anything extra in my life at the moment. I didn’t have anything in my stash that seemed right for this and I didn’t have the pattern, so I couldn’t make it anyway. Then Mel posted some inspiration photos. Pretty!And I saw this one on the left and I was hooked. I tried to ignore the call of this siren but a week later it was still sitting in my head, a fabric sale started and I just had to give in.

Sequin fabric is expensive! Especially considering you also need to underline it.My pretty.... I headed to the Fabric Store sale and hummed and haaaed over what one to get. I ended up with this one (which is more black than it looks in this photo) for only $29 a metre (less 40% because of the sale!). It had the look I liked the best, but I don’t think its going to be the most robust sequined fabric I could get to be honest. I don’t know if the others would be less likely to shed sequins, but its something to learn if I ever sew with sequins again.

I got some black acetate to underline, which had a nice solid hand to it. I traced and cut out a size Large for this jacket (which is the size I made for my other Papercut pattern), which given I had main fabric, and underlining, and interfacing and rib took its time. Then I needed to baste the sequins to the underlining. I just used the acetate for the facing of the jacket, and decided not to line the jacket given there were already double layers of fabric (though Kat has done a great tutorial on adding lining here).

This counts as hand sewing right?

You can just see the hand basting at the end of these sleeve pieces….

Previously whenever I’ve underlined anything I’ve machine basted the pieces together, but this time as I wanted to make sure all the pieces were flat and there wasn’t any bunching (which is what I’ve had before) I hand basted it with the pieces sitting against my cutting table. It took time but I was much happier with being able to manipulate the fabric as I went so I think I’ll keep hand basting up. I’m yet to work out the best time to take out these basting stitches before they get caught up in the garment construction – any ideas on this? At what stage to you folks take basting stitches out? I also learned that you should use a new piece of cotton for each line of the pattern then you can take all the other basting stitches out and still leave the hems etc basted.

The construction of this jacket is really easy, though the first thing you do it welt pockets (first time for me!). Weirdly enough cutting into the middle of the jacket front to make the pocket itself filled me with terror, which I don’t think it would have if it was later in the sewing process – I know, makes no sense, but there you have it. But that was the only thing I struggled with. Though I did do a lot of top stitching to get everything looking right.

I finished the seams and the facing with pre-made bias binding. Because a) you have to do something to hide those ugly seams if you don’t put lining in right? And b) you have to cover the sequins on the seams cause they’re all scratchy. Trust me.

In the end this is a locally made jacket. The fabric comes from one of our local (well Kiwi owned) stores The Fabric Store, the pattern is from Nelson, only a boat ride away and the metal zip (which I love) came from my local haberdashery Made On Marion. I don’t always manage to make it all from small, local companies but I try.


I’m really happy with this jacket – I like the way the ribbing and the style makes it more casual, and therefore more wearable. It’s actually too big – I think I could have gone down a size? And if so, that’s the first time I’ve ever had that problem! Also the sleeves are a smidge short… which, if I’d searched the interweb before cutting I would have known in advance (do your research kids). Its yet to have it first wear other than getting photos taken, but I’m sure it won’t be long. Who of you have made a Rigel – I have a suspicion there are more in my future? What else have you been sewing?IMG_4635IMG_4624IMG_4592

P.S… my denim bed thingee is still being used. Now I’m back up on my feet it was relegated back to its home on the spare bed. Normally that room isn’t used, but Sewing Cat George came off worse for wear after meeting a car last week. The poor thing has a broken pelvis :( He will be a-ok but is banished to a cage for 4 weeks. As the spare room is the coolest room in the house (and its currently summer) we’ve moved him down there, and Mr C and I have set the room up as an alternate front room for the next few weeks to keep him company. Which means the spare bed, and the denim bed thingee are doubling as a couch. Poor man....

While Sewing Cat George may LOOK miserable in his cage, he seems to be having the time of his life having discovered he can reach both his food bowls without leaving his bed! So far he’s been a pretty cool customer with the whole thing… so far…

Meanwhile Sewing Cat Samantha is ignoring him – looks like sewing cat duties are all her for the next month…