MMM 2015, Day 18: New Look 6123 faux wrap dress, in a taupe lightweight knit

Me-Made-May, day 18!

Mondays in Me-Made-May are all about variations on New Look 6123, a lovely dress with options for a 1-piece or crossover bodice, and plain or side-gathered skirt, with an optional side flounce. I adapted the pattern for medium-stretch knits in order to stash-bust a bit. Here, I used a lightweight knit. I’m kinda neutral on how it turned out. It’s nice, but probably a little too flimsy for business casual at work.

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I happened to have Monday off, so I wore it while pup and I played in the backyard together…

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Pattern & Instructions, Garment Assembly Alterations – see this post

Final Thoughts:

Meh. It’s comfy, I’ll wear it on weekends  🙂

MMM 2015, Day 17: Hungarian embroidery – modern Matyó piece

Me-Made-May, day 17!

Still catching up on same late me-made-May posts, but I’m still sticking to the plan and trying to finish a piece for each day in May. Here’s what I finished last week…

According to my plan, Sundays during Me-Made-May are Hungarian embroidery days. Here’s a piece I started some time ago, Matyo embroidery, from the North-Eastern region of Hungary. It was meant to be a Christmas gift for my parents, but our sweet kitty passed away a few weeks before the holidays, and frankly, I just didn’t have the heart to finish it. But here it is, thanks to the push in me-made-May! It will have to serve as an anniversary gift instead, I think they’ll be pleased…

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It appears to be a modernized rendition of Matyo design, using traditional shapes but in a non-traditional arrangement. It’s not an original design, as such I won’t be providing you the design pattern, but I’m having a heck of a time uncovering the original source. I found a picture of the original embroidery in several places online, but none which claim to be the original source. If anyone can help me on this, please send me a message. It appears to be part of a collection of square-shaped pieces from various regions of Hungary, depicting the various styles of embroidery. Hmmm I may have to tackle them all…

I made this piece by copying the picture into a Word document, sizing and printing it. I then traced the design onto fabric using a pen:

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Matyo is probably my favourite style of Hungarian embroidery. I love the cheerful colours, and the symmetry. In this piece, the typical mirror-image symmetry has been replaced with a more free-flowing design, with flowers and leaves draped loosely from the cabbage rose in the centre. If you’d like to give Matyo a try, Kate & Rose Patterns offers similar traditional floral motifs in modern settings.

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MMM 2015, Day 16: Liola Patterns’ Luna top, in muslin and adapted for knits

Me-Made-May, day 16! 

Saturdays during Me-Made-May are wild-card days, I get to sew whatever I want! This is the second Luna top I’ve made, the first one was a muslin made as part of pattern testing for Liola Patterns. For the second version, I decided to adapt it for knits, as I wanted to have something cozy to thrown on for walking puppy in cooler weather. I love love love love love it! The colour, the drape, the fit, I love all of it:

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Here’s the muslin made as part of the pattern testing:

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Wearable, but with flaws. The sleeves were a bit too snug, and I didn’t account for my massive swayback (see pooling above my butt), both issues were fixed for the knit version. Read on…

Pattern & Instructions

The Luna is available as a PDF download, 24 pages to print. The instructions are fantastic, and there are enough illustrations to guide you through the process. In short, you’re piecing together contrasting panels on the front, and then on the back:

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Afterwards, sew front to back, add sleeves, and hem bottom. Yep, looks complicated, but if you follow the instructions it’s pretty straight-forward.

Garment Alterations:

Swayback was my biggest issue, there was way too much fabric pooling into my lower back. Luckily, the inserts at the back of the top are up high enough that taking out some of the length in this area doesn’t mess with the overall contracting fabrics design. I pinned out the extra fabric, measured it, and cut it out of the pattern piece:

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As for using knits, mine was a medium weight, so I adjusted as with yesterday’s top. Add to armscye, take in at shoulder and side seams.

Final Thoughts

I’d make this again for sure, maybe even give it a go in a heavier ponte for winter time 🙂

MMM 2015, Day 15: Sorbetto, adapted for knits + sleeves

Me-Made-May, day 15!

More catching up, this is what I wore last Friday. Fridays during Me-Made-May are Sorbetto days, a free PDF download from Colette Patterns, featuring bust darts, bound neckline and armholes, and a box pleat detail down the front. This version has been adapted for knits:

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Pattern & Instructions, Garment Assembly – see this post from the start of Me-Made-May.

Garment Alterations:

To accommodate for the stretch in knits, I modified the ease in a few places.

I added a little extra to the armscye:

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I trimmed a little off the sides and shoulder seams:

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I also added sleeves:

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Final Thoughts:

If you’ve done a muslin already, the Sorbetto takes about an hour or two to make. Nothin’ fancy, but super comfy…

MMM 2015, Day 14: Pencil skirt drafted into an A-line, in a loud and obnoxious knit print

Me-Made-May, day 14!

Whew, the last week has been pretty busy, so I’m slowly clearing out the backlog of projects posts for Me-made-May. Thursdays during Me-Made-May are a time to explore variations on the pencil skirt. Today I’m wearing an A-line version of the pencil skirt, with a waistband:

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The fabric is actually kinda hideous, but I think it works as a skirt, paired with a solid black top.

Garment Assembly & Alterations:

The construction was quite simple: take the front and back pieces of any basic pencil skirt pattern, and simply cut them on an incline as shown below, to form an “A”-line skirt:

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You’ll notice I cut inside the lines towards the top of the skirt – I was using a knit fabric, so taking it in a bit in this area ensured it would sit snugly around my hips. I sewed up the sides, and then cut a long strip of fabric for the band. I sewed the around the top, then folded it over to the inside and hand-basted it to the inside skirt top:

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Final thoughts:

Quick, simple. Kinda hideous, but I’m ok with that.

MMM 2015, Day 9: tailoring the fit on a store-bought skirt

Me-Made-May, day 9!

Saturdays during Me-Made-May are wild-card days, I get to sew whatever I want! In today’s post, I’m going to show you how I took a skirt which was oversized and too long, and created a new size and length without touching the original hem. If you look at the pic below on the left, the skirt as at least 2″ too long, even with sandals, I’d be tripping all over it. But for $16 bucks, it was a steal, and I loved the design and colours, so totally worth remodelling. Not only was the length a problem, but the gathered waistline was too much, side pockets added bulk, and both made me look much larger around the hips.

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But with a little planning, I quickly turned into into this:

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Pattern & Instructions:

I started by cutting off the original waistband, and turning the fabric inside out. I then measured my hips at the widest point (egads!), and added 2″ to the measurement. This became my new waistline measurement. I then trimmed the fabric as you see in the graphic below, following the red lines, and omitting the pockets. This should give you enough ease, but if you prefer a slimmer fit, simply try it on (inside out) after you’ve sew up the new sides, mark the excess with pins, and sew new seams to take it in accordingly. And, best part, it keeps the original hem, so less sewing to do!

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Garment Assembly:

Sew up the sides, and test the fit by slipping into the skirt and holding it up around your waist. You want some room for ease, how much is entirely up to you. If you’re happy with the sizing, go ahead and finish the edges. Next, make the casing for the elastic by folding over the waist band by 1/2″ and press. Fold that over again by the width of your elastic plus 1/4-1/2″ or so – you need to be able to sew the fold down, and still have enough room to slide your elastic into the casing. Topstitch the fold, moving around the circumference of the skirt. Leave an opening of 2″, and slide your elastic in (I didn’t use the elastic from the original waistband, but instead used a new piece), I usually attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic, so that I have something to guide it along the inside of the casing. Pull the elastic all the way through, overlap the ends and stitch in place. Now topstitch the 2″ gap you left open for the elastic.

If you’ve also got decorative ties like this skirt does, you may want to transfer them over. Cut them off the original waistband of the skirt, fold the edges over, and topstitch in place on your new waistband. To position them correctly, find the centre of the skirt, mark it with a pin, and place each tie about 1″ away, on each side of the pin.

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Final Thoughts:

If I’d realized how quick and easy i was to reconstruct the size of a pre-made skirt, I’d probably already have a closet full. Great summer wardrobe builder…

MMM 2015, Day 8: Sorbetto top, with slopped sleeves

Me-Made-May, day 2!

Fridays during Me-Made-May are Sorbetto days. Last Friday, I made a straight-up version, with no alterations, so you could see how the pattern looks on its own. Today, I’m showing a simple modification to the shoulder seam to create a slopped sleeve. I love the fabric, it’s a cheery orange poly-something, with cream and navy hearts.

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Pattern & Instructions & Garment Assembly – see the first Sorbetto post in Me-Made-May

Garment Alterations:

Pardon the mess pattern drafting, ignore the squiggly lines, at least you get the idea of the basic shape. I simply extended the shoulder out to a short sleeve, keeping with the curve of the shoulder seam. After assembling the top, I used a small strip of bias binding made from the same fabric, sewed on, folded it under, and hand stitched it down. You could probably just roll the sleeve hem and stitch it in place.

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I realized too, it’s not in the original pattern I don’t think, but I started sewing the back of the Sorbetto in 2 pieces, with a seam down the centre. This allowed me to to do a swayback adjustment along the centre. I think this back shot also shows how much nicer the top looks when it’s been tapered in at the sides a little…

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Final Thoughts:

I like…